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Exclusive: ‘Hamilton’ actor and R&B crooner Deejay Young talks about empowering Black men, self love and owning your royalty in new album

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“We were born in the image and likeness of God, which is royalty and beauty. And we have it, we just need to own it. “

 

If you don’t know who Deejay Young is, you will.

The Tampa, FL native has been on the rise in the independent music and Broadway scene, most recently in the Tony-award winning musical, “Hamilton”, where he plays four major roles including the president himself.

However, due to the pandemic, his stage days are at a standstill. But it’s given him the opportunity to work on some long-awaited new music that has one simple, timely message: love.

Inspired by the current events, his first-ever, full-length album titled, “Primitive” touches on the African American experience and his journey from a Black boy to a Black man.

Your upcoming album is all about love. How does your message resonate with the events that are happening within the African American community (i.e. #BLM, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor) and the world right now?

“We all need to operate out of love. That’s the first step in healing what’s going on in our society right now. This has been a crazy year, a lot to digest and take in. With me being able to sit with my thoughts, not only artistically but socially, and personally, I think that we all just really need to love one another right now and really unite. We lost a lot of people and a lot of gifts and a lot of lights in this world this year. We know that’s inevitable we know that stuff happens. But because of that, we need to take the charge and be responsible for loving one another and really taking care of one another. ”

Staying on the topic of love, let’s talk about the message in your new single, “Hashtag.”

“We need positive messages and we need people to tell our stories as Black people. I wrote this song to really let our beautiful people of color know that it doesn’t matter what the media is trying to feed you. We’re not only Black, but we’re also creative, we’re beautiful, we’re soulful, we make all of these trends and we make them broad in the spectrum. I want everybody to know that we’re not just a hashtag, we’re not just a hashtag #Black, we’re hashtag #influencers. We’re so much more than what society portrays us to look and be and think like. So, I wanted everybody to know that we’re powerful in our own way.”

“We all need to operate out of love. That’s the first step in healing what’s going on in our society right now.”

With this project, you found it important to speak specifically to Black men. Why is that? 

“With men, there’s this stigma about being vulnerable and loving yourself and loving other Black men and empowering them. And I really wanted to empower other Black men because a lot of Black men deal with certain issues they don’t talk about. A lot of Black people don’t like to get therapy. We have to set this example and I feel if it’s coming from another Black man, like ‘yo it’s OK to have emotions and still be a man. It’s cool.’ I really want to break that ice and break that stigma that a man can’t be sensitive, a man can’t sing about love or talk about love or express himself in that area.”

“We’re not only Black, but we’re also creative, we’re beautiful, we’re soulful, we make all of these trends and we make them broad in the spectrum.”

Do you have a song on the album that touches on royalty? 

“The first song on my album is actually called “Likeness.” And it talks about how we made in royalty. And it’s so important for Black people to hear and know that because we see the things that are happening in the world. We view our history, slavery, but it doesn’t take away who we are. Black men and women and people of color need to know we were created like this. We were born in the image and likeness of God, which is royalty and beauty. And we have it, we just need to own it. ”

Follow Deejay Young here 

Preorders for his “Primitive”  album are available here 

A free, virtual listening party for the album will take place on July 27th.  To RSVP click here 

Read more about Deejay in our upcoming summer edition, slated to be released later this month.